Bulq.com recently launched as a business-to-business marketplace that connects buyers with large retailers selling overstock, open box, refurbished and excess inventory in bulk, vice president of e-commerce Caroline Ernst says.
Since the website’s Oct. 5 launch, 20 companies including The Home Depot Inc., Sony Corp. and Groupon Inc.’s Groupon Goods retailing division have registered on Bulq.com to sell to the small and independent retailers that buy on the site. These buyers include “the eBay reseller, the person who sells at flea markets, or the small dollar store” Ernst says. She declines to comment on the number of buyers and sellers registered on Bulq.com.
Bulq offers merchandise in six categories: Apparel & Accessories, Consumer Electronics, Computers & Office, Home & Garden, Toys & Baby and General Merchandise. Visitors can search among products by those most recently added to Bulq.com, as well as by five types of product condition: Brand New, Like New, Uninspected Returns, Scratch & Dent, and Salvage. Products in the Scratch & Dent condition, for example, are identified as having “cosmetic issues and/or functionality defects, often missing manuals and/or accessories, and may have non-retail packaging.” Salvage products come with a similar description, but also “may need extensive repair,” Bulq says.
Bulq sells several products at a time bundled on pallets with per-pallet prices ranging from under $300 to several thousand dollars, director of marketing and communications Carly Llewellyn says. Visitors can download the product manifesto for each pallet to view a detailed list of products, their condition and the original manufacturer’s suggested retail price. To complete a purchase, customers must register an account with an email address and password. Bulq limits online customers to daily purchase volume of $5,000 for up to six pallets, a limit it sets to ensure space on trucks for shipping. Customers can call a sales agent to arrange for larger orders. Bulq charges a flat shipping fee of $150 per pallet.
There is no additional fee for buyers to use the site. Retailers pay a subscription fee to use the company’s software to upload product details and prices to Bulq.com; they can also use Bulq’s software to price and load products for sale on other e-marketplaces such as Rakuten, eBay and Amazon. The company declines to disclose the fees it charges sellers for each model.
In-house developers built the Bulq.com site in four months, Ernst says. Bulq is owned and operated by Optoro Inc., a technology company that helps retailers sell excess inventory to consumers and business buyers. In the last year, Optoro has received $90 million in funding from Grotech Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, QED Investors, Revolution LLC, SJF Ventures, SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, Square 1 Bank, and Triple Point Venture Growth BDC.
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